July 13, 2014 (Stockholm, Sweden) –Braden Currie of New Zealand and Helena Erbenova of the Czech Republic captured the inaugural XTERRA Sweden Championship at Hellasgarden Park in Stockholm today. It's the second major for both, as Currie also won at XTERRA Motatapu and Erbenova won at XTERRA Spain.
XTERRA managing director Dave Nicholas was on-site to bring us this report…
For the second week in a row the weatherman promised rain and the Hawaiian Gods brought none. The first XTERRA Sweden started under leaden skies but as the day progressed it got brighter and brighter…and so did the competition.
Another battle royal among the men as Dan Hugo and Braden Currie staged an epic fight from the swim to the end of the bike. Benny Allen shadowed the duo and kept in a position where if either faltered he was there.
Hugo came out of T1 first with Braden right behind - but the Kiwi could not find his shoe and nearly stopped. Ben Allen was right behind and made a great zig to miss Currie and they were off. We had a few local competitors that we knew could threaten. Jonas Djurback is an Ironman competitor of note having done some 8:11's; Eskild Ebbeson is a 3-time Olympic medal winner, but in rowing. Both men had that sly glimmer as race time approached.
The bike is a technical but fast marvel. Everyone loves it - and it provided everything one could ask for. While no extended hills, there were plenty of short and very steep and technical climbs that challenged everyone. First it was Dan leading Braden - then it was Braden leading Dan and always Ben sitting about a minute or so back.
"I could see them often and I just felt like I could catch them but it never happened," said Allen.
Behind the lead three there was another fight between Jan Pyott, young Scot Rory Downie, and Jonas. Yeray Luxem, usually in the middle of the fight, was having a bad day on the bike, saying "I could never get my rhythm."
Without the two fast swimmers, the women came out in a fairly tight pack. The always improving Brigitta Poor leading by a bit from Carina Wasle, Louise Fox and Helena Erbenova. Renata Bucher did not have a good swim and came out over a full minute back. "For two years I was the queen" smiled the Czech Champion "but this year not so good".
What this courageous woman doesn't say is she has not been 100%. Her father, who travels to all the races, made her rest and stay home from France and she looked much more like herself today. About 2/3 of the way through the first lap she led Carina by about 30 seconds. Renata had taken 3rd away from Brigitta but was a long way back from the lead duo.
On the second lap it was more of the same. Dan leads Braden, Braden leads Dan and Ben Allen just behind but not close enough to challenge. That all ended at the start of the run. Currie took off like he owed a lot of money and never looked back. Dan knew he was not going to catch the New Zealander and ran a smart race. He worried about Ben and every lap asked what the gap was. I kept giving him the gap to Braden and after the race he said "I knew where he was and wanted to know how far behind Ben was" he laughed. "I wasn't going to catch Braden but did not want to get caught".
That's the way it ended. The top 3 were the top 3 all race. But behind things were getting mixed up. Young Rory crashed hard and Jan and Jonas got away. Jonas is a runner and left out of T2 passing Jan - Yeray might have had a bad bike but he posted the fastest run to pass Downie and Pyott to take a very nice 5th. Our Olympic rower was having a great day. We had a young age group phenom in France and now a 40-44 phenom in Sweden. Eskild was 8th overall and says he is coming to Maui. That will be a treat.
Erbenova hooked a pedal on a gate post on the 2d lap and came off in a big way. She broke the pedal and could not clip in for the entire second lap, but still continued to lead. After the race she spent a bit of time in the medics tent and went to the podium with her jacket on to cover the bandages and trail rash. Carina had a tough run this week but had no trouble holding onto 2d. For the second week in a row our Swiss Miss finished 3rd but only by a few seconds. Brigitta was having another fine race and nearly caught Renata finishing just 23 seconds behind.
So the first XTERRA Sweden is in the books and a great job by the Nordic team and their local crew. This has to be one of the most ideal locations on tour. Only 15 minutes from the old town of Stockholm, inexpensive cabins for athletes to stay in at the park, lots of hotels, shopping and services within minutes, two airports within 30 minutes and simply fabulous cycling and running and a clear, warm lake to swim in.
|Pl||First name||Last name||Time||Swim||Bike||Run|
|Pl||First name||Last name||Time||Swim||Bike||Run|
RUZAFA, MUELLER STILL LEAD XTERRA EUROPEAN TOUR STANDINGS
Despite not racing Ruben Ruzafa and Kathrin Mueller both held on to their XTERRA European Tour leads after six events. Pros count their best six of 11 races through the course of the season to determine their final point totals. Races still to come include XTERRA Italy (July 26), XTERRA Czech (Aug 9), XTERRA Germany (Aug. 16), XTERRA England (Aug. 24), and XTERRA Denmark (Aug. 31).
|1||Ruben Ruzafa, ESP||100||100||x||100||100||x||400|
|2||Yeray Luxem, BEL||x||82||x||69||75||69||295|
|3||Braden Currie, NZL||x||x||x||90||90||100||280|
|t4||Albert Soley, ESP||90||x||82||49||x||x||221|
|t4||Francois Carloni, FRA||x||90||100||x||31||x||221|
|1||Kathrin Müller, GER||90||x||100||100||100||x||391|
|2||Helena Erbenova, CZE||100||x||90||63||x||100||355|
|3||Carina Wasle, AUT||x||x||x||69||90||90||252|
|4||Renata Bucher, SUI||x||x||x||75||82||82||243|
|5||Sandra Koblmueller, AUT||x||90||x||58||69||x||222|
2014 XTERRA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING EVENTS
XTERRA Sweden was the 25th of 36 events where the fastest amateur athletes from around the globe could qualify to race at the 19th annual XTERRA World Championship at Kapalua, Maui on October 26, 2014.
|Date||Race||Location / Pro Winners
|23-Feb||XTERRA South Africa||Dan Hugo / Flora Duffy|
|8-Mar||XTERRA Motatapu||Braden Currie / Nicky Samuels|
|15-Mar||XTERRA Philippines Championship||Dan Hugo / Renata Bucher|
|29-Mar||XTERRA Guam Championship||Dan Hugo / Renata Bucher|
|29-Mar||XTERRA Costa Rica||Leonardo Chacon / Shonny Vanlandingham|
|30-Mar||XTERRA Great Ocean Road
||Ben Allen / Jacqui Slack|
|5-Apr||XTERRA Saipan Championship||Ben Allen / Carina Wasle|
|12-Apr||XTERRA New Zealand Championship||Conrad Stoltz / Barbara Riveros|
|13-Apr||XTERRA West Championship||Josiah Middaugh / Flora Duffy|
|26-Apr||XTERRA Asia-Pacific Championship||Dan Hugo / Flora Duffy|
|3-May||XTERRA Malaysia||Dan Hugo / Jacqui Slack|
|17-May||XTERRA Southeast Championship||Josiah Middaugh / Flora Duffy|
|24-May||XTERRA Mauritius||Sam Gardner / Karyn Southgate|
|24-May||XTERRA Spain Championship||Ruben Ruzafa / Helena Erbenova|
|1-Jun||XTERRA Portugal||Ruben Ruzafa / Coralie Redelsperger|
|8-Jun||XTERRA Brazil Championship||Felipe Moletta / Sabrina Gobbo|
|15-Jun||XTERRA East Championship||Dan Hugo / Flora Duffy|
|21-Jun||XTERRA Greece||Francois Carloni / Kathrin Mueller|
|28-Jun||XTERRA Switzerland Championship||Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller|
|29-Jun||XTERRA Norway||Dan Hugo / Cecilie Overbye|
|5-Jul||XTERRA Ontario||Sean Bechtel / Heather Pady|
|6-Jul||XTERRA France Championship||Ruben Ruzafa / Kathrin Mueller|
|6-Jul||XTERRA Victoria||Brent McMahon / Melanie McQuaid|
|6-Jul||XTERRA Freedom Fest||Sergio Florian / Laurel Dudley|
|13-Jul||XTERRA Sweden||Braden Currie / Helena Erbenova|
|19-Jul||XTERRA Mountain Championship||Beaver Creek Resort, Avon, Colorado|
|26-Jul||XTERRA Italy Championship||Abruzzo, Scanno|
|2-Aug||XTERRA Mexico Championship||Tapalpa, Jalisco|
|9-Aug||XTERRA Czech Championship||Prachatice|
|16-Aug||XTERRA Germany Championship||Zittau|
|17-Aug||XTERRA Canmore||Alberta, Canada|
|24-Aug||XTERRA England||Cranleigh, Surrey|
|31-Aug||XTERRA Quebec||Lac Delage, Quebec, Canada|
|7-Sep||XTERRA Sleeping Giant||Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada|
|20-Sep||XTERRA USA Championship||Ogden/Snowbasin, UT|
|26-Oct||XTERRA World Championship||Maui, Hawaii|
About TEAM Unlimited/XTERRA
TEAM Unlimited is a Hawaii-based television events and marketing company, founded in 1988. It owns and produces XTERRA and in 2014 will offer more than 300 XTERRA off-road triathlon and trail running races in 25+ countries worldwide. In addition, TEAM TV has produced more than 300 adventure television shows resulting in three Emmy’s and 42 Telly Awards for production excellence since 1990. View samples at www.xterra.tv, and learn more at xterraplanet.com and xterratrailrun.com.